The D23 Expo 2019 weekend saw a slew of really cool new reveals. Most of these featured new developments on Disney’s new digital streaming service, Disney+, and some of the new shows that would be featured on it.
The Marvel arm of Disney+ seems even more densely populated than its Disney and Star Wars counterparts, and rightly so. Marvel Studios’ Phase 4 is well underway, and what better way than to support the new wave of movies with a bunch of new TV shows to whet your appetite?
Kevin Feige announced the arrival of three potential new Avengers to the ranks of the MCU: Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight and She-Hulk. For the uninitiated, these heroes have been Avengers for as long as one can remember (maybe except Ms Marvel, but more on her later), and they have also long been fan-favourites among the Marvel Comics community.
While Feige didn’t say whether these shows will be live-action or animated remains to be seen, but he did confirm that they will appear in the movies eventually, after the storylines of their respective shows have ended.
Ms. Marvel, alter ego Kamala Khan, is the youngest new addition of the trio, but her heart (and size-altering abilities) more than makes up for her lack of experience. Despite inheriting the namesake and lightning bolt-shaped symbol from Carol Danvers (who everyone now knows as Captain Marvel), Khan is actually an Inhuman, with the innate ability to alter her size (even individual body parts) at will. This separates her from the likes of Ant-Man and The Wasp, who rely solely on Pym Technology to shrink and expand.
Like Tom Holland’s Spider-Man (uh…), Khan is also in her teens, but what makes her even more compelling is the fact that she’s the first Muslim member of the Avengers — around the same time as when Miles Morales blew up as the new Spider-Man. This, coupled with her struggles with being a hero and being a regular kid, more than make her an easy read/watch for fans of any age.
Also, definitely a sign for a Young Avengers film/Disney+ series in the near future.
Fun fact: Brie Larson admitted to wanting to see Ms. Marvel in a future Captain Marvel movie during a press conference back in March. And if you look at the title font of the Ms. Marvel TV series, the dot resembles the symbol used by Captain Marvel. Coincidence? We think not.
Another really popular Marvel Comics character, Marc Spector a.k.a Moon Knight, was revealed at D23 Expo, much to the delight of his fans.
Often compared to DC Comics’ Batman, Moon Knight shares a lot of similarities to the Dark Knight in many respects. From his peak physicality and martial arts skills thanks to his boxer, US Marine and mercenary past, to his super-sleuthing ability and sheer strength of will, Marc Spector can often be mistaken as a mere copy of Batman at first glance.
But peel away the superficial comparisons (including the all-white getup) and you have yourself a totally different — and arguably even more compelling, some might argue — hero. Firstly, Spector is partially possessed by the ancient Egyptian deity known as Khonshu, god of the moon and vengeance (yes, yes, more Batman-esque quirks, but hear us out first).
While under the influence of Khonshu, Moon Knight gains a significant boost in strength, speed and durability under the light of the moon. Even more interesting is immortality granted to him, which allows him to be resurrected almost instantly when suffering what would be a fatal blow.
However, the possession of Khonshu makes Spector a little off-centre as he suffers from multiple personality disorder, often at odds with Khonshu’s will and struggling to keep afloat with his powers because of it.
This makes Moon Knight an interesting prospect to see on the small screen (and eventually the big one), but of course, it would take a skilled actor to pull his incredibly nuanced personality off well.
Rounding off the trio is the story of Jennifer Walters, better known as She-Hulk. A key member of the Avengers in recent years, Walters/She-Hulk is also the biological cousin of Bruce Banner a.k.a The Hulk.
Walters was exposed to the same Gamma radiation as Banner, albeit by more unconventional means; Banner (after gaining the Hulk Gamma radiation) performed a blood transfusion on her when she was dying from an attack by a crime boss. One thing led to another, and she soon became She-Hulk.
What makes this Jade Giant different from that of Banner’s is the fact that Walters retains her full intelligence and personality when transforming. This allows her to not only hit hard, but hit hard when it matters. Coupled with her superb reasoning vis-a-vis her lawyer skills, She-Hulk has carved a name for herself as one of the bona fide leaders of the Avengers of recent years.
Her leadership, alongside Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, led to the formation of the all-female supergroup the A-Force (which was kinda teased near the end of Avengers: Endgame). Could this finally be when such a group might be an actuality in the MCU? Only one can hope.
This doesn’t mean She-Hulk isn’t without flaws, however. Much like Moon Knight and the Hulk, Jen Walters also has to deal with “the other guy”, as quoted by Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner. In this case, it’s the Grey She-Hulk persona, which manifests from time to time, and is the pure, uncultured version of her rage taking over.
Again, it’d take an actor of a very fine degree to pull this off, but knowing Disney’s pulling power these days, we wouldn’t be surprised if they casted some top-tier talent to be the female Jade Giant.
In any case, the announcement of these three shows at the D23 Expo 2019 was enough to send many fans dizzy with excitement for what’s to come in Disney+.
Already, we’re getting the likes of quality shows such as The Falcon & The Winter Soldier, WandaVision, Loki, Hawkeye and What If…?, the inclusion of the aforementioned three shows will no doubt incur more speculation of what we can expect out of the MCU beyond Phase 4.
Marion has a serious RPG addiction. Sometimes it bleeds into real life; he forgets to sleep because he thinks he has a Witcher’s body clock. Forgive him in advance if he suddenly blurts out terms such as “Mind Flayer” and “Magic Missile”, because never once does he stop thinking about his next Dungeons & Dragons game.